How does RPA help in the retail sector?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help retailers stay relevant, effective, and optimized by helping them to automate mundane, repetitive activities, accelerate workflows, and optimize overall costs. Enterprises are acknowledging that the benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) extend far beyond basic cost reduction and increased productivity. The bots are being used for a wide range of generic back-office processes, by executing routine administrative tasks faster, accurately and consistently than humans.
RPA in retail can automate and seamlessly improve the workflow of most of the repetitive tasks, such as inventory management, sales analytics, customer complaints management and business reporting.
Leveraging RPA can help businesses, small or big, in gaining a competitive edge, as well as pursue continual growth. Small businesses like convenience stores that rely heavily on distributed order management and fulfillment will benefit immensely from RPA and related retail technologies. Especially in the post-COVID world, RPA will play a key role in determining the success of a venture as it increases the efficiency in small workforce.
Use cases of RPA in Retail
Below are a few ways in which RPA can come handy and help the retail industry to cope with the circumstances created due to COVID-19
Distributed order management and fulfillment – Unattended bots can be deployed to handle the increased volume of essential items such as groceries, medicines, PPE, etc. Bots can balance orders and inventory in real-time, avoiding backlogs and delays in delivering critical products
Supply chain collaboration and automation – Bots can be deployed to scan the systems and collect available inventory details across all the products and map it against the production volume, and generate a report for inventory management. Warehouse & Inventory management systems and store management systems can be made touch less with intelligent automation to make them more efficient.
Con tactless payments – Bot configured with the logic of reconciliation can help segregate and reconcile the number of receipts by cash, cheque, coupon, and credit cards with 100% accuracy and much lesser handling time.
Accelerating supplier on boarding: Automating procurement processes such as extracting and sorting supplier’s information and quotation, contract management, and request-for-quotation packages resulting in accelerated supplier on boarding. The bots can also be leveraged to check the status with the suppliers for order fulfillment on time.
Handling surge in employee job applications: Unattended bots can manage the surge in new applicants for retailers and automate the employee selection process.
Apart from the above-mentioned use cases, there are many more tasks that can be automated within the retail space like Business and Sales Analytics, Demand-Supply Planning, ERP Management, Customer Support processes and many more.